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A human face carved on a pebble from the Late Natufian site of Nahal Ein Gev II

  • Leore Grosman (a1) (a2), Dana Shaham (a1), Francesco Valletta (a1), Itay Abadi (a1), Hadas Goldgeier (a1), Noa Klein (a1), Laure Dubreuil (a3) and Natalie D. Munro (a4)...

Extract

There is a paucity of Palaeolithic art in the southern Levant prior to 15 000 years ago. The Natufian culture (15 000–11 500 BP; Grosman 2013) marks a threshold in the magnitude and diversity of artistic manifestations (Bar-Yosef 1997). Nevertheless, depictions of the human form remain rare—only a few representations of the human face have been reported to date. This article presents a 12 000-year-old example unearthed at the Late Natufian site of Nahal Ein Gev II (NEGII), just east of the Sea of Galilee, Israel (Figure 1). The object provides a glimpse into Natufian conventions of human representation, and opens a rare opportunity for deeper understanding of the Natufian symbolic system.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence (Email: leore.grosman@mail.huji.ac.il)

References

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Bar-Yosef, O. 1997. Symbolic expressions in later prehistory of the Levant: why are they so few?, in Conkey, M., Soffer, O., Stratmann, D. & Jablonski, N.G. (ed.) Beyond art: Pleistocene image and symbol (Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences 23). San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences.
Dubreuil, L. 2004. Long-term trends in Natufian subsistence: a use-wear analysis of ground stone tools. Journal of Archaeological Science 31: 1613–29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2004.04.003
Dubreuil, L., Savage, D., Delgado, S., de la Torre, I., Plisson, H. & Stephenson, B.. 2015. Use-wear analysis of ground stone tools: discussing our current framework, in Marreiros, J., Gibaja, J. & Bicho, N. (ed.) Use-wear and residue analysis in archaeology. Cham: Springer.
Garrod, D.A.E. & Bate, D.M.A.. 1937. The Stone Age of Mount Carmel. Oxford: Clarendon.
Grosman, L. 2013. The Natufian chronology scheme—new insights and their implications, in Bar-Yosef, O. & Valla, F.R. (ed.) Natufian foragers in the Levant. Ann Arbor (MI): International Monographs in Prehistory.
Grosman, L., Karasik, A., Harush, O. & Smilansky, U.. 2014. Archaeology in three dimensions—computer-based methods in archaeological research. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 2: 4864. https://doi.org/10.5325/jeasmedarcherstu.2.1.0048
Grosman, L., Munro, N.D., Abadi, I., Boaretto, E., Shaham, D., Belfer-Cohen, A. & Bar-Yosef, O.. 2016. Nahal Ein Gev II, a Late Natufian community at the Sea of Galilee. PLoS ONE 11: e0146647. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0146647
Perrot, J. 1966. Le gisement Natoufien de Mallaha (Eynan), Israël. L'Anthropologie 70: 437–84.
Weinstein-Evron, M. 1998. Early Natufian el-Wad revisited. Liège: Université de Liège.

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